While most Americans were enjoying the Christmas holiday with friends and family, I had the absolute privilege of traveling with the Commandant of the Marine Corps, General Jim Amos and his wife Bonnie to Afghanistan in the Helmand province. General and Mrs. Amos could have spent Christmas anywhere in the world but both wanted nothing more than to spend their last Christmas in the Marine Corps with forward-deployed Marines. General and Mrs. Amos exemplify leadership.
That is why when I was made aware of the most recent attacks against the general and his wife I had to take action and voice my opinion. It pains me so much to see the repeated, ridiculous attacks against them both. It is unprecedented in the history of our Corps to repeatedly attack one of our own and to sit idly by and let others do it too.
The attacks are driven almost entirely by a single news organization we are all familiar with. The attacks are personal and designed to drive a wedge between him and Marines all across the globe. Sadly, they have achieved some level of success in this regard. Their latest stunt is to create an issue over the placement of their product in our exchanges. Give me a break, this is a crisis? They created the issue, it was designed by them, for them, simply devised to do nothing but generate sales for their bottom line, nothing more. The staff in our exchanges moves products around every day. You’ve never heard Budweiser cry because they didn’t get placed in the front of the cooler. If you’re confident in your product just stand behind it, don’t create news that doesn’t exist and slander people in the process.
Sadly and shockingly, U.S. Representative Walter Jones, 3rd District, NC, has somehow felt obligated to enter into this discussion. Please allow me to say what none of you wearing the uniform can say, “Enough already Congressman Jones”. Let me remind you, you sir are a congressman, not a salesman for a newspaper organization. If this is the best use of your time, then your time has passed. Please stop using the American tax dollars this way. It is clearly time for you to move on; your work is done if this is the most important issue you are dealing with. This “issue” is really none of your business. Isn’t there something more important you should be doing? I have a great idea North Carolina, vote for former Army Sergeant Jason Thigpen. Thigpen is the purple-heart recipient running against Jones for Congress. Vote for Jason Thigpen.
Never in the history of our Marine Corps has an external enemy turned Marines against their Commandant. My personal message to all Marines is to step up, do what we do best and that’s protecting our own. We have a responsibility as the greatest fighting force on the earth to stop this. I professionally and personally know Gen Amos and his wife. I can tell you that every time I leave his presence I say to myself; I can only hope that someday I can be half the Marine, Leader, Husband, Father, Grandfather and friend that cares about others the way this man does. My request is simple; please stand with me and defend OUR Commandant because he always stands by us. General Amos and Bonnie have my enduring support.